Gilmore Girls – how to prepare!

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If you have ever been a fan of the Gilmore Girls – you are well aware of the 4-part mini-series revival of the Gilmore Girls coming November 25th to Netflix.  I am so excited!  It will be interesting how they catch up with all the old characters, where we will find Rory and Lorelei and where they will leave them all at the end of the 4th mini-movie.  The original series ran from 2000-2007 so unless you are like my sister-in-law who just finished binge watching the whole series last year, my main suggestion is re-watch some of the “important episodes” to prepare.  I loved the series, but I realized most of it has not stuck around in my head.  I really want to enjoy the mini-series – so I don’t want to waste my time googling the characters and plot lines I forgot.  I was equally excited when the Veronica Mars Movie came out a few years ago.  Since there were only three seasons, I was able to watch them all.  I have consulted many lists to find the best quick binge map to prepare.

If you are short on time….

16 episodes to re-watch

If you have a little more time…

28 episodes to re-watch

If you have even more time….

50 episodes to re-watch

 

I wish I had the time to watch every episode – but I am busy binge watching other things!  So I combined all the lists into my mega list!

If you are crazy like me….

59  episodes to re-watch

Mega Gilmore Girls Episode List to Re-Watch

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I have combined many online lists to come up with my mega rewatch list that I am currently tackling before the start of the new 4 part mini-series coming at the end of November.  All 59 episodes are available on Netflix.

Season 1

1/  Pilot

2/  The Lorelais’ First Day at Chilton

6/  Rory’s Birthday Parties

7/  Kiss and Tell

9/  Rory’s Dance

15/  Christopher Returns

16/  Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers

17/  The Breakup: Part 2

21/  Love, Daisies and Troubadours

Season 2

1/  Sadie, Sadie

3/  Red Light on the Wedding Night

5/  Nick & Nora/Sid & Nancy

10/  The Bracebridge Dinner

13/  A-Tisket, A-Tasket

16/  There’s the Rub

19/  Teach me Tonight

21/  Lorelai’s Graduation Day

22/  I Can’t Get Started

Season 3

1/  Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days

7/  They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They?

8/  Let the Games Begin

16/  The Big One

17/  A Tale of Poes and Fire

19/  Keg! Max!

20/  Say Goodnight, Gracie

22/  Those Are Strings, Pinocchio

Season 4

1/  Ballrooms and Biscotti

2/  The Lorelais’ First Day at Yale

9/  Ted Koppel’s Big Night Out

18/  Tick, Tick, Tick, Boom!

19/  Afterboom

21/  Last Week Fights, This Week Tights

22/  Raincoats and Recipes

Season 5

1/  Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller

2/  A Messenger, Nothing More

3/  Written in the Stars

6/  Norman Mailer, I’m Pregnant!

7/  You Jump, I Jump, Jack

8/  The Party’s Over

13/  Wedding Bell Blues

14/  Say Something

18/  To Live and Let Diorama

21/  Blame Booze and Melville

22/  A House is Not a Home

Season 6

1/  The New and Improved Lorelai Gilmore

8/  Let Me Hear Your Balalaikas Ringing Out

9/  The Prodigal Daughter Returns

13/  Friday Night’s Alright for Fighting

18/  The Real Paul Anka

19/  I Get a Sidekick Out of You

21/  Driving Miss Gilmore

22/  Partings

Season 7

1/  The Long Morrow

7/  French Twist

12/  To Whom It May Concern

14/  Farewell, My Pet

16/  Will You Be My Lorelai Gilmore?

21/  Unto the Breach

22/  Bon Voyage – SERIES FINALE

Honey Mustard Crockpot Brisket

Honey Mustard Crockpot Brisket

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs brisket
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 4 tablespoons worcester sauce
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • 1 cup honey mustard or 1/2 cup mustard + 1/2 cup of honey

Instructions

  1. Rub salt, garlic powder, and onion powder on both sides of brisket.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. Sear both sides of brisket 4 minutes a side.
  4. Move brisket from skillet to crockpot.
  5. Combine beef broth and worcester sauce, until mixed.
  6. Pour broth mixture over brisket.
  7. Spread honey mustard mixture over brisket.
  8. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  9. Take meat from crockpot, place on a cutting board, cover with tinfoil and let sit for 20 minutes before slicing to serve.
  10. Remove cooking liquid and transfer to a a small pot. Boil until liquid has reduced. Serve as gravy.
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Last night we hosted a Shabbat dinner (friday night dinner) for my mother-in-laws birthday.  I had some time in the morning, but then I was out all day.  I decided to give this brisket crockpot recipe a try.  It was really easy and super tasty!  I have a crockpot that also has a cooktop feature, so I was able to sear the meat in the crockpot and then switch it to the slow-cook function.  After letting it rest, my husband said it was super easy to cut because it was so tender.  It was really flavorful and the gravy added a really nice level of juiciness.

We were so excited to eat that I never got a chance to take any pictures!  I will definitely be making this again and will hopefully remember to take a picture.

Banana Frittata

banana-frittata

 

Banana Frittata

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler to medium.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender.
  3. Pulse until all ingredients are combined fully.
  4. Heat a small cast iron skillet on medium heat.
  5. Grease skillet with coconut oil.
  6. Pour batter into skillet.
  7. Cook until bottom has set.
  8. Transfer skillet to broiler.
  9. Broil for 2-5 minutes or until the top is set and is just starting to brown.
  10. (Watch closely, as a frittata can turn from perfectly done to burnt very fast!)
  11. Remove from oven.
  12. Place frittata inverted on plate.
  13. Top with honey, yogurt, cinnamon, nuts or any toppings of choice.
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Being on the specific carbohydrate diet means that breakfast is pretty limited.  I don’t love eating meat or veggies for breakfast – so that leaves me with eggs.  90% of the time I have a two egg omelet.  This morning, I wanted something sweet.  I make a pretty awesome frittata – and I feel like I have mastered my technique.  There is a SCD banana pancake recipe everywhere which uses the same ingredients – but I can never get the heat or technique right.  This method was much easier for me and pretty much foolproof – but just as yummy!

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Gluten Free (SCD) “Irish Soda Bread”

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Gluten Free (SCD) "Irish Soda" Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease two mini loaf pans
  3. Combine almond flour, salt and baking soda.
  4. Add the eggs, honey and vinegar and mix well.
  5. Stir in the raisins.
  6. Divide batter between two prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is lightly brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Serve with butter or topping of your choice.
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I used to love Irish soda bread.  A piece toasted and topped with salty butter is the perfect snack for me.  This is a really nice SCD friendly replacement.  It makes two cute little loaves.

Paleo/SCD Carrot Kugel Muffins

carrot-kugel-muffin

 

Paleo/SCD Carrot Kugel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cans sliced carrots (or 4 cups sliced cooked carrots)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder (for SCD substitute 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
  3. Grease cupcake liners with oil.
  4. If using fresh carrots - peel and slice carrots. Steam carrots in 1 inch of water for 20 minutes or until soft.
  5. If using canned carrots - drain and rinse.
  6. Mash carrots with a potato masher.
  7. Combine all ingredients with mashed carrots.
  8. Pour into prepared cupcake pan until each is 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes until center comes clean from an inserted toothpick.
  10. Serve warm or room temperature.
  11. Can be made 1 or 2 days before and reheated in the oven.
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These carrot muffins have taken a long journey.  This recipe is based on my Mother-In-Laws much loved Carrot Kugel.  Her Kugel is absolutely delicious!  Unfortunately, it does not fit into my current dietary restrictions.  Over the last few years I have tweaked her recipe.  I first subbed her margarine for coconut oil.  I then switched out the white flour for almond flour.  Finally I took out the sugar and added honey.  The problem I always had was the center of the kugel, which was cooked in an 8X8 pan would not cook through.  I finally had the break through this Rosh Hashanah – muffin tins!!!  With a smaller amount of batter, the kugel is able to cook all the way through.  The kids are also more likely to eat them since they are in muffins!  This is a great side dish to a meat meal because it is non-dairy.

 

 

Always Be Prepared – puke in the car edition

I think of myself as a pretty prepared Mom.  I always have a tissue or bandaid ready to go.  I am the one who always has a snack for my boys and their friends.  My kids get hangry very fast (hungry + angry = hangry).  My pool bag is stocked and ready to go and my packing cube tips are some of my favorite to share.

Since my little one is now 5 – I have let my car preparedness lax.  No longer are the days when I have a diaper bag with me.  I used to keep my car stocked with diapers, wipes, lotion, travel potty and a million other “necessary” items.  Since my boys are now “big” I no longer keep most of these things with me.  And this got me into big trouble yesterday!

My #3 boy has been home sick with a virus.  Low grade fever and sore throat.  We spent the day at home reading books and watching age appropriate tv.  Anyone with more than one kid knows that the youngest will watch what the oldest will watch and never gets to experience of Curious George (my favorite!).  I had to put #3 in the car to pick up #2 and #1 from school.  This process usually takes about 45 minutes.  They are at a private school with two different campuses.  It can be shorter if we park the car and walk to pick them up.  With #3 being sick and it being 19 degrees outside, we opted for the car pick-up line.  10 minutes into the drive – #3 threw up all over himself!  I found myself unprepared, and had to struggle to get us into a position to do the next 35 minutes of our pick-ups.  I did the best I could – stripping his puky clothes in a plastic bag (so glad at least I had this!), putting him in an extra pair of shorts and throwing a blanket over him to keep him warm.  We drove with the windows open and made it home where I had to spend the next 45 minutes cleaning the car and the clothes.  This was a good reminder to be prepared for this situation next time.

Puke in the Car Edition – Necessary Items

  1.  Travel Puke Bucket – you can purchase these plastic half moon buckets online, in a medical supply store, or swipe them from the hospital.  They are the perfect size to slip into your glove compartment.  If a child is complaining of being nauseous – it is in the perfect location to grab it while you are driving and pass it back to the kid.  It is small enough that they can hold it up to their face and hopefully catch anything that comes out.  You can either keep a plastic bag over it – so the puke can be cleaned out by just removing the bag, or you can rinse out the bucket.  The bucket is on the small size – so it will not be that helpful depending on the volume of what is coming up.   Small Puke Bucket6160zVPifiL._SX522_
  2. Plastic Bags – I keep at least 5 plastic bags in my center console.  This is helpful for wrapping up clothes that got dirty, wipes that you used to clean up mess, and holding an already used puke bucket.  You should also keep some plastic bags stashed in the trunk for further emergencies.
  3. Wipes – Since I don’t have any kids wearing diapers anymore, I haven’t been keeping wipes in the car.  I am not even sure that I have any in the house anymore!  I used to buy the large packs and put a small amount in a small plastic holder to keep in the car or my diaper bag.  Because I don’t use them often the wipes would dry out.  I am going to buy some of these small packs to keep in the car – and hopefully they won’t dry out.  Wipes 51BnJKX-PgL
  4. Change of Clothes – I should add that it should be an appropriate for the season change of clothes.  I keep a mesh travel bag in the trunk of my car with a new shirt, pants/shorts, underwear and sock.  Packing Cube51lDNRzc1zL._SL500_SS125_
  5. Blanket – I always keep 1 or 2 blankets in the trunk of my car for a variety of situations.  We were once caught in a horrible rain storm and the boys were freezing.  They are also good for a last minute picnic.  In this instance, it was great for covering my little one once I got him out of his dirty clothes.  A small fleece blanket is my recommendation.  It is cozy, durable and most importantly – easy to clean!  Fleece blanket  61AgmXir+cL._SL1100_

Pineapple Noodle Kugel – paerve

Pineapple Noodle Kugel - paerve

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag Extra Wide Egg Noodles
  • 4 eggs (well beaten)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple (do not drain)
  • 3/4 cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook egg noodles according to directions on the bag.
  3. In a large bowl beat eggs with oil, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and salt.
  4. Add crushed pineapple with the juice to the egg mixture.
  5. Once noodles are done cooking, drain water and add noodles to the egg mixture.
  6. Greece a 9x13 pyrex pan.
  7. Add the mixture to the pan.
  8. Cook for 45 minutes or until kugel is set and top is lightly brown.
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I will add a picture next time I make this yummy side-dish.  This is a great last minute addition to a shabbat meal.  It is non-dairy and nut free.  Safe for anyone with food allergies.  I will pretty much always have the ingredients in my pantry and it is a crowd pleaser.

Kids-Rule Day!!!

Sara Colket Photography - Korn 2015 WATERMARKED-233

This post is 2 1/2 years in the making!  February 2013 Jerald was out of town on a business trip.  I was trying to move the boys along from dinner to bath to bed after being on my own for a couple of long days.  Justin, who was 5 at the time, looks at me, in a very sweet way, and says “how come you get to make all the rules?”  Well, that was an interesting question.  I explained to them, that I am the Mom, I know what is best for them, it is my job to keep them safe and healthy, etc…  Justin then asked if they could make the rules one day.  I thought about it, and it seemed like an interesting idea.  A day where the kids could really make all the rules.  What would that look like?  Chaos?  A giant mess for me to clean up?  Multiple trips to the hospital for injuries sustained while my three boys made the rules?  No – it couldn’t be that bad.  I almost said, “Ok – let’s pick a day soon and you guys will be in charge.”  Luckily, I thought for a second and came up with a plan.

Seth was in 1st grade at the time, and his teacher had a teddy bear jar.  When the kids did something good or nice, she would add one little teddy bear to the jar.  When the jar was filled up the class would get a really nice treat.  One time it was pajama day at school and another time it was fancy day with suits, dresses and little snacks.  I took this idea for my own and created “Kids-Rule Day!”  I found a cheap vase, tapped a little note on and bought some bouncy smiley balls to fill it with.  I introduced the idea the very next morning to the kids.  They were thrilled!

There were a few simple rules we put in place.  The kids could earn smiley balls in a lot of different ways.  Good behavior, being nice or kind to your family, or whenever else we felt that some good action should be rewarded.  Smiley balls were never taken away once they were in the jar.  Once they were earned that was it.  My parenting style definitely consists of time-outs and taking away privileges for bad behavior.  But for some reason, taking out hard earned smiley balls seemed to be too severe of a punishment and against the intent of the project.  Once the jar was full, the boys would have the whole day to make the rules.  We discussed that these “rules” could not be anything that would destroy the house or be dangerous.  There would be no writing on the walls of the house!  (that was actually Ezra’s first idea of what to do.)

When Jerald came home from his business trip, he was intrigued by the idea, but said he wanted to be at work when Kids-Rule Day finally came around.  I had no idea how long it would take to fill the jar.  There were times when they were earning multiple smiley balls in a week, and other times were weeks would go by with no smiley balls.  Sometimes it was because their behavior wasn’t up to the smiley ball standard.  Other times it was because no one was thinking about it – and it didn’t’ occur to us to give one.   It was something they were always working towards.  If there was a fit about sharing a toy – sometimes offering a smiley ball would help ease the situation.  If we were going out to a fancy dinner with family – the promise of three smiley balls would help focus them on their good behavior.  Even though the promise of Kids-Rule Day was so far in the future – they held on to their goal and worked together.

The summer of 2014 I had two weeks in a row with the three boys and what I call “Mommy Camp.”  I thought that one of those days would be a perfect day for Kids-Rule Day.  We booked our days so full that there was never enough time, and there was still too many balls needed to fill the jar.  The winter of 2014-2015 in Boston was beyond brutal.  We had over 100 inches of snow and my kids had 9 snow days!  The jar was near full, and I told Jerald that we should plan to have it full on a snow day.  He agreed – but for some reason we got busy with other snow activities and it never happened.  We finally got to the summer of 2015 and the jar was really almost full.  The time had come!  On a thursday morning, we scheduled our yearly family photo-shoot and we told the boys, if they behaved well they would each earn a smiley ball which would put them over the top and the rest of the day would be Kids-Rule Day.

After the photo-shoot each boy put their last ball in and you can see from the pictures our family photographer snapped, how excited they were!  Jerald and I had been discussing what would it actually be like when Kids-Rule Day came.  We thought they would watch a bunch of tv, eat some junk and then get bored and want to do something else.  We were wrong!

They all put on the pajamas, raided the pantry and started eating cookies and hershey kisses, and turned on the tv.  They watched tv for 10 and 1/2 hours straight!!!!  At one point, my cleaning lady was vacuuming the floor of the living room, so they took the ipad and all laid in one bed to continue watching tv.

 They ate pizza and ice cream for lunch and sushi for dinner.  By dinner time, they didn’t want anymore candy or sugar but they still wanted more tv.  If they had stopped at some point and asked to go to a toy store, a trampoline park, the pool – I would have taken them.  But all they wanted to do was watch movies and tv.  Such an interesting but scary experiement!

 After they went to sleep, I emptied all the smiley balls out and replaced the empty jar.  I was slightly worried about their reaction.  They said – ok let’s start earning smiley balls again and they began to make plans for the next Kids-Rule Day.

 

Best Oven Roasted Salmon

Best Oven Roasted Salmon

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Best Oven Roasted Salmon

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb Salmon per person
  • 18" pieces of aluminum foil
  • 1 long scallion
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 chopped tomato
  • 1 lemon sliced thin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay out aluminum foil on baking sheets.
  3. Place fish in lower center half of the foil.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Chop up scallion and tomato.
  6. Place on each piece of Salmon.
  7. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
  8. Place two slices of lemon on the top.
  9. Fold up the foil tight.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes.

Notes

You can serve this right out of the oven - or even refrigerate and serve cold the next day.

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